(via RTE) Archaeologists in Scotland believe they have located the site of a monastery where a renowned manuscript may have been written in the 10th century. The manuscript known as the Book of Deer, or Leabhar Dhèir, contains the oldest examples of written Gaelic in Scotland. The manuscript belongs to the same Irish monastic tradition as the Book of Kells. It contains the Gospel of St John in full, as well as extracts from the other gospels.
It is written primarily in Latin with notes in Gaelic in the margins. The Gaelic notes are believed to have been written in the 12th century.
The remains of the monastery are located 45km to the northeast of Aberdeen. Artefacts found at the site include a stone hearth, charcoal and pottery fragments.
The Book of Deer can be viewed on the website of Cambridge University Library, where it has been preserved since the 18th century.
In the medieval period, Gaelic was the dominant common language of Ireland and Scotland. Irish, Manx and Scots Gaelic diverged into different dialects of this common language in the 13th century.